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Finish The Fancy Facade


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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Lets see how this flys:

Paint the facade gold! What is your opinion about the colour of facades?

Why gold?  :blink:

Why not leave them 'natural'. :D

WM

 

 

Tin stains: finger prints show and the effects of bat droppings are positively ghastly. Zinc looks very dull unless polished.

Copper holds its looks if lacquered - but looks a bit odd.

 

Spotted metal fronts always look good, but for plain pipes I'm with the gilding - a tradition with a long history, particularly in this country. It sets off any colour of casework of the organ extremely well - the darker the woodwork, the better the gold looks IMHO.

 

A friend currently does re-spraying of fronts for me and they look splendid when he's finished with them. He's in the motor trade and his procedure is simple and cheap:

 

1. rub down by hand

2. spray with undercoat - car bodywork paint

3. Ford Orion Gold - one coat

4. Finish with layer of gloss lacquer.

 

For all the world they look as if they've been covered with gold leaf.... only they're much more stable that that.

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When as a young teenager my first organ, a pathetic, seven-stop wheezebox, was being overhauled and cleaned, the two organ builders who got the job explained that they weren't making any tonal alterations, but they were going to gild the pipes "because it always makes congregations think the organ sounds better". And of course they were right. After they had completed the job several people commented how much brighter the organ sounded.

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Tin stains: finger prints show and the effects of bat droppings are positively ghastly.

 

A friend currently does re-spraying of fronts for me and they look splendid when he's finished with them.  He's in the motor trade and his procedure is simple and cheap:

 

1. rub down by hand

2. spray with undercoat - car bodywork paint

3. Ford Orion Gold - one coat

4. Finish with layer of gloss lacquer. 

 

For all the world they look as if they've been covered with gold leaf.... only they're much more stable than that.

 

 

=======================

 

This raises an interesting point.

 

The polished tin front on the organ I play is fine, and so too are the laquered copper basses, but the tin pipes of the functional-display Positive (Brustwerk) have been pawed many times by tuners, resulting in a veritable cornucopia of visible forensic evidence.

 

How do you get rid of paw prints, short of 1,000 grade wet and dry or a bottle of "Jif"? (The latter very good on automotive paint-finishes, incidentally).

 

Is there some miracle "Acme" solution available?

 

MM

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When as a young teenager my first organ, a pathetic, seven-stop wheezebox, was being overhauled and cleaned, the two organ builders who got the job explained that they weren't making any tonal alterations, but they were going to gild the pipes "because it always makes congregations think the organ sounds better".  And of course they were right. After they had completed the job several people commented how much brighter the organ sounded.

 

 

=====================

 

Which, of course, confirms what the old garage-man said to me.

 

"People don't buy GOOD cars second-hand: they buy SHINY cars."

 

:blink:

 

MM

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
=======================

 

This raises an interesting point.

 

The polished tin front on the organ I play is fine, and so too are the laquered copper basses, but the tin pipes of the functional-display Positive (Brustwerk) have been pawed many times by tuners, resulting in a veritable cornucopia of visible forensic evidence.

 

How do you get rid of paw prints, short of 1,000 grade wet and dry or a bottle of "Jif"? (The latter very good on automotive paint-finishes, incidentally).

 

Is there some miracle "Acme" solution available?

 

MM

 

 

No guarantee given, but I would try a little T-Cut (available from Halfords). Duraglit also works. In both cases, I would try a small area on the back of a pipe first to be on the safe side. Nothing that has been lacquered can be cleaned in this way, and sometimes it is difficult to tell.

 

An organbuilder colleague told me that cleans his pipes with whiting and a dry cloth, sounds too much effort for me. Apart from anything else, where would I get whiting?

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No guarantee given, but I would try a little T-Cut (available from Halfords). Duraglit also works.  In both cases, I would try a small area on the back of a pipe first to be on the safe side.  Nothing that has been lacquered can be cleaned in this way, and sometimes it is difficult to tell.

 

An organbuilder colleague told me that cleans his pipes with whiting and a dry cloth, sounds too much effort for me. Apart from anything else, where would I get whiting?

 

 

If the pipes aren't too badly fingered then a rub with a chamois or bit of organ leather seems to work - otherwise resort to T-Cut.

 

JS

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Tin stains: finger prints show and the effects of bat droppings are positively ghastly. Zinc looks very dull unless polished.

Copper holds its looks if lacquered - but looks a bit odd.

 

Spotted metal fronts always look good, but for plain pipes I'm with the gilding - a tradition with a long history, particularly in this country. It sets off any colour of casework of the organ extremely well - the darker the woodwork, the better the gold looks IMHO.

 

A friend currently does re-spraying of fronts for me and they look splendid when he's finished with them.  He's in the motor trade and his procedure is simple and cheap:

 

1. rub down by hand

2. spray with undercoat - car bodywork paint

3. Ford Orion Gold - one coat

4. Finish with layer of gloss lacquer. 

 

For all the world they look as if they've been covered with gold leaf.... only they're much more stable that that.

Doesn't this leave them looking a bit like... well, beige Ford Orions?

 

I like properly gilded pipes, especially if the case is mahogany and made to the exceptional standards common in Georgian England. I find cheap imitation gilded pipes (easily told because they don't have that burnish and patina) are rather synomous of 2nd rate organs or bad rebuilds.

 

But anything is better than zinc fronts - I can understand why organs were so often hidden behind pipeless screens after some builders started using zinc display pipes...

 

One style of pipe decoration which might be making a bit of a come-back (and is very traditional romantic English, so I'm sure Pierre will love it) is painting the pipes with stencilled patterns. H&H have had painted pipes on recent organs such as Copenhagen and Twyford and their work at All Saint, Maragaret Street involved pipe painting. In the right place (like a high Victorian gothic church), the effect is very good.

 

And I have to admit, I LIKE tin fronts, especially with gilded mouths.

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Doesn't this leave them looking a bit like... well, beige Ford Orions?

 

 

But anything is better than zinc fronts - I can understand why organs were so often hidden behind pipeless screens after some builders started using zinc display pipes...

 

 

And I have to admit, I LIKE tin fronts, especially with gilded mouths.

 

 

 

==================

 

Three observations here.

 

The Gold colour used for the Ford Orion is especially good, if you happen to like cars that look like gold until the rust shows through. I believe they use "Dutch Metal" flake in the gold colours, which being encapsulated within a polymer-paint, never tarnishes.

 

As for Zinc fronts.....what about Selby Abbey?

 

Tin fronts are very nice; the organ I play has one. It's interesting to note that most famous tin-front, at the Bavokerk, uses Cornish Tin.....the best in the world before they saw fit to close down the mines which went deep under the sea.

 

The most amazing look is to be found in the small church "op Boom" (The church in the attic) in Amsterdam, where the case pipes are almost jet-black due to the amount of lead in the pipes.

 

Spotted metal is nice.

 

Of course, one could always do the unusual, by building a "Pyro-organ" with glass pipes, into which gas flames play.........I kid you not.......there is such a thing, and it makes music.

 

It is also possible to make a water-organ using high-pressure water and glass pipes.....perfect for "In Wasserflusen Babylon" I suppose.

 

I reckon that this could revive popular interest in the instrument!

 

MM

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One style of pipe decoration which might be making a bit of a come-back (and is very traditional romantic English, so I'm sure Pierre will love it) is painting the pipes with stencilled patterns. H&H have had painted pipes on recent organs such as Copenhagen and Twyford and their work at All Saint, Maragaret Street involved pipe painting. In the right place (like a high Victorian gothic church), the effect is very good.

 

 

For my money, the finest example of pipe stencilling must surely be AG Hill's wonderful case of 1916 at Beverley Minster - the glorious setting of the building itself helps, of course, but, to me, the whole ensemble is magnificent.

 

It's a pity, however, that so much 'organ plumbing' overflows into the south choir aisle - inevitable, I suppose, if one is to have the benefit of rolling 32s etc. I just wish the main case had been big enough, and structurally sound enough, to accommodate at least the Swell box.

 

JS

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I agree. The Beverley case is wonderful. I think that Norman in the Guide to the Organs of GB commented that it looked so fragile that one dare not lean a ladder against it.

 

I think York Minster's case is even more magnificent. Again, the 32s have to live elsewhere.

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Guest delvin146
Cleaning tin front pipes -  we use UNIPOL.  Did a 2ft tin Principal facade with it earlier this year - absolute magic.  Easy to apply and buff up.

Available from Laukhuff

 

Laukhuff

H

 

I happened to stumble across those organ strange items in the Laukhuff gifts section. How tasteful! I can just see the president of the RCO handing out commemorative bog seats to their members. I can just see the look on DGW's face right now. The mind boggles :lol: , whatever next? It puts a whole new slant on raising the wind. What's that pipe for, to test the wind pressures. All from genuine organ parts? ie. Worcester?

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I rather like the case at Westminster Abbey. The pipes are fairly plain but seem to work because of it. I hate the organ at Kingston parish church with its Perspex shutters, some may find it attractive, but I think it’s awful.

 

:lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
I rather like the case at Westminster Abbey.  The pipes are fairly plain but seem to work because of it.  I hate the organ at Kingston parish church with its Perspex shutters, some may find it attractive, but I think it’s awful.

 

;)

 

No, I agree. I cannot think of anything immediately uglier.

 

Anyone have any other ideas?

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The facade pipework at the Sydney Town Hall is absolutely plain, except for the mouths. The pipeshades are similarly understated. The organ front simply relies on the architectural coherence of the whole for an incredible effect.

 

Walking through the vestibule into the hall - not often enough these days, as I've been living for the last few years on the opposite side of the country - I still find that I'm quite stunned by the sight - "gobsmacked", as my son would say.

 

Rgds,

MJF

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No, I agree. I cannot think of anything immediately uglier.

 

Anyone have any other ideas?

This perhaps?

Wooden frontpipes, painted grey.

 

BUT: the Anneessens organ is fantastic; I've played on it in it's old home in Breda in a large neo-gothic church - awesome "Bazuin 16" ...

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